The FPS Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment acts both at the Belgian Federal level and at the European and international levels.
At the Federal level
Our FPS contributes to scientific research for improving regulations on nanomaterials. See the following projects in particular:
- project "nanogenotox" (study of the potential of damage caused to genetic material),
- "nanopolymers" project (study of risks to the health and environment of nanometric polymers, in English only),
- To2DeNano" project (towards a toxicologically relevant definition of nanomaterials).
- projects under contract research (study of food risks).
According to the Royal Decree of 27 May 2014, companies have to register the nanomaterials they place on the market as of 1 January 2016. The creation of a register is the first step in the management of nanomaterials and their impact on man and on the environment. The registration is compulsory since 1 January 2016 for engineered substances at nanoparticulate state and will be compulsory as of 1 January 2017 for mixtures containing substances at nanoparticulate state (such as paints and sun creams).
At the European level
Generally, as the Competent Authority or in application of the guidelines defined by the Coordination Committee for International Environmental Policy (CCIEP), the FPS Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment promotes an important adaptation of the EU legislation to the specific features of nanomaterials.
Thus, our FPS represents Belgium in various European forums aiming at:
- a better integration of the nanomaterials specific features in the legislation,
- the implementation of this legislation,
- a better understanding of the impact of manufactured nanomaterials on human health and the environment
- the improvement of nanomaterials’ traceability throughout their life cycle.
Finally, our FPS maintains particularly close relations with France, Sweden and Denmark in order to maintain a certain consensus concerning the national registry projects of nanomaterials .
At the international level
Our FPS represents Belgium in three international organisations:
- the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development), where it actively participates in a working group on manufactured nanomaterials aiming at testing many nanomaterials widely available on the world market. The goal of this group is to provide medium-term adaptation and standardisation of test methods that would be specific to nanomaterials’ characteristics.
- the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), which also focuses on the emerging issue of nanomaterials.
- the SAICM (Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management), where a comprehensive strategy for chemicals is being developed with specific attention to emerging issues such as nanomaterials.